Guest posting is probably one of the most underrated online marketing techniques. So many new businesses waste a lot of time worrying about SEO, PPC, Facebook, and creating content for their own site, when what would really be best for them is speaking to someone else’s already-established audience. Why build your own stage and struggle to get people to watch, when instead you can saunter in front of a crowd that’s already gathered? Yes, eventually you’ll want people on your own platform that you control, but leveraging someone else’s in the meantime can help you reach your goals a lot faster.
You may have heard that guest posting got a bad rap a few years ago when it was called out by Google’s Matt Cutts for being spammy. However, even Cutts himself has clarified that he wasn’t saying guest posting itself was bad, just that there was a problem with the way some people were going about it (see the last section of his “guest posting is dead” post). As long as you’re not plastering low-quality drivel anywhere that will have you, and are instead providing value to audiences who are likely to be interested in your site, you will be fine. As with all online marketing, do things to appeal to real people and not to search engines, and you’ll be on the right track.
Today’s Action Step: Take a few minutes to come up with a list of targets to approach. That’s fairly straightforward advice (you can probably think of 5-10 sites off the top of your head), but here are some less intuitive tips:
1. Brian Dean of Backlinko has a great authoritative post on guest posting that explains what to do step-by-step. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but one action step in particular that I recommend is identifying a competitor who’s done a lot of guest posting, and then doing a reverse image search for the photo they use in their bio. This will give you a list of blogs to approach.
2. Let’s say you’re a dating coach. Obviously, you’ll do a search for “dating blogs” or maybe “best dating blogs for women.” But the more specific and “long tail” you can get, the better. Try keywords like “dating for divorced women in their 30s” or “dating for women who hate dating” if those niches are your specialty. You can uncover some real gems this way that you may not have found otherwise, and reach people who are a perfect fit for what you offer.
3. To help you decide which blogs to prioritize, be sure to note whether they seem to have an active audience or not. A guest post does you no good if people don’t interact with the site. Take note of both whether or not there are comments and the level of interaction with the site on social media.
You can of course spend more than 30 minutes on this – you could take 30 minutes each day for a week and come up with a nice long list of places to reach out to. But even just in one sitting, you can stumble upon your next great partnership.